|People's Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps|
Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Hǎijūnlùzhànduì
|File:Patch of the PLA Marine Corps.svg|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Allegiance||Communist Party of China|
|Branch||People's Liberation Army Navy|
|Motto(s)||"陆地猛虎、海上蛟龙" (Tiger of the land, dragon of the sea)|
|Colors||White and blue|
|Engagements||Battle of the Paracel Islands|
The People's Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC), also known as the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps (PLAMC), is the marine force of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and one of five major branches of the PLA Navy (PLAN). It currently consists of two 6,000-man brigades, with a third brigade being organized from the transfer of the PLA Ground Force’s 77th Motorized Infantry Brigade.
The PLAN Marine Corps was originally established in April 1953 during the Chinese Civil War by Communist Chinese troops to conduct amphibious operations against islands held by the Nationalists. By the end of the Korean War, the PLAN Marine Corps numbered 110,000 people organized in eight divisions. However, the organization was disbanded in October 1957 when the leadership of China abandoned any plans to seize the island of Taiwan. Following the disbanding of the Marine Corps, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) did maintain a naval infantry force, which consisted of several infantry and amphibious tank regiments.
In 1979 the Central Military Commission of China re-established the Marine Corps and organized it under the PLAN. On 5 May 1980, the 1st Marine Brigade was activated on Hainan.
In view of the growing tension between Mainland China and the Republic of China during the 1990s, the number of PLAN Marine Corps units was again increased. 1st Marine Brigade China was reinforced and rearmed. In July 1998, the 164th Motorized Infantry Division of the PLA Ground Force’s 41st Group Army had been transferred to the PLAN South Sea Fleet and became the 164th Marine Brigade, with its homebase in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province. In February 2017, it was reported that the 77th Motorized Infantry Brigade of the 26th Group Army was transferred to the PLAN.
12,000 marines are based in the South China Sea. It is believed in time of war, up to 28,000 marines can be mobilized. These two brigades possess combined arms units, including armor, artillery, missile, air defense, and logistics.
The two brigades are the 1st Marine Brigade and 164th Marine Brigade – both based in Zhanjiang (South Sea Fleet); 12,000 personnel.
Each Brigade comprises all or most of the following:
- 1 x Armoured Regiment (1 x Tank Bns and 2 x Armoured Rifle with ZTD-05 Amphibious Tank Amphibious Assault Vehicle and ZBD-05 Amphibious IFV Amphibious Infantry Fight Vehicle)
- 2 x Marines Bns
- 1 x Howitzer Bns with PLZ-07 SP Howitzer
- Missile Battalion (HJ-8 & HJ-73 ATGMs and HN-5 SAMs)
- A mixed Engineer and Chemical Battalion
- Communications and Guard Battalion
- Field Maintenance Battalion
- Personnel Equipment
- Type 95 Assault Rifle
- Type 95B Carbine
- QBB-95 Squad Automatic Weapon
- QBU-88 Designated Marksman Rifle
- QCW-05 Submachine Gun
- QSZ-92 Pistol
- DZJ-08 Anti-tank launcher
- Type 11 Amphibious Assault Gun
- Type 08 Amphibious IFV
- ZTD-05 Amphibious Tank
- ZBD-05 Amphibious IFV
- Type 59 Main Battle Tank
- Type 63 Light Amphibious Tank
- Type 63A Light Amphibious Tank
- Type 63 APC
- Type 77 Amphibious APC
- Type 85/89 APC
- Type 86 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
- WZ551 Wheeled APC
- Artillery and Ammunition
The modern day Chinese marine possesses the Type 95 bullpup assault rifle as standard infantry armament. The marine wears a blue/littoral camouflage uniform as standard dress. The effectiveness of this camouflage is unknown, and is thought to be ineffective once the marines penetrate deeper into urban and forested terrain. The marines also make use of GPS and night vision systems to enhance their fighting capabilities.
The PLAN marines are equipped with amphibious light tanks and armored personnel carriers. The Type 63A is the newest light tank in Chinese service. It is based on the hull of the older Type 63 (which in turn is based on the Soviet PT76 amphibious light tank). The Type 63A features a number of improvements, in particular the new welded turret which features much greater armour protection and the 105mm main gun (capable of firing standard NATO projectiles as well as the gun launched anti-tank missile). The marines are believed to have continued operating the Type 63 and the non-amphibious Type 62 light tanks as secondary units. The Type 77 amphibious APC was the standard armoured transport for the marines for many decades. However, new designs have been adapted from the army to complement these aging transports. These include specially modified versions of the Type 89 and Type 63 APCs, with enhanced swimming capabilities. The Type 86 (or WZ501) IFV is also in service with the marines. Based on the Soviet BMP-1, it is armed with a single 73mm main gun and mounts an HJ73 ATGM (with max range of 3000 meters).
For air defense, Chinese marines employ a mix of automatic and manually operated anti-aircraft artillery systems, as well as short range surface-to-air missiles. The marines have been seen operating the new Type 95 self-propelled air defense platform on an amphibious hull similar to the Type 77 APC. This platform is armed with four 25mm cannon with a short ranged SAM combination to achieve effective killing capabilities against low flying targets at short ranges. The Type 89 self-propelled 122mm gun is the first SP artillery system in service with the marines since 1999. This adds additional accurate firepower to the PLAMC.
- "The PLA Oath". February 2009. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a495052.pdf. Retrieved 2015-10-30. "I am a member of the People's Liberation Army. I promise that I will follow the leadership of the Communist Party of China..."
- "陆地猛虎海上蛟龙：中国海军陆战队素质世界居前". 2009-04-20. http://www.chinanews.com/gn/news/2009/04-20/1654466.shtml. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
- "People's Liberation Army Navy - Marine Corps". http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/china/plan-mc.htm.
- Republic of China Marine Corps (part of the Republic of China Navy)
- People's Liberation Army Airborne Corps (part of the People's Liberation Army Air Force)
- People's Liberation Army Navy Coastal Defense Force
- People's Liberation Army special operations forces
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